Dr. Julian Adams has accumulated a wealth of experience over more than 35 years in oncology research, development, and leadership, prior to his retirement. His most recent position was as chief executive officer of Gamida Cell (NASDAQ:GMDA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working to develop cell therapies for cancer and rare, serious hematologic diseases, where he continues to sit on the board of directors.
Previously, he was president and chief scientific officer at Clal Biotechnology Industries, Israel’s largest life sciences investment company. In this role, he oversaw the company’s Boston office, evaluating investment opportunities and supporting portfolio companies, including Gamida Cell and Vedantra.
In addition, Dr. Adams has served as president of research and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals and as senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, now part of Takeda Oncology. At Millennium, he played a key role in the discovery of Velcade (bortezomib), a therapy widely used for treatment of multiple myeloma. He was also instrumental at developing an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), also known as duvelisib. In 2018, the FDA approvedCOPIKTRA (duvelisib, Verastem, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). Earlier in his career, while at Boehringer Ingelheim, he was credited with discovering Viramune (nevirapine) for HIV. He has also worked in research and development leadership roles at LeukoSite and at ProScript.
Dr. Adams holds more than 40 patents and several industry and academic awards, and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. He earned a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science degree from McGill University, where he also was awarded an honorary Sc.D.